I originally started out with only an interest in the RCA RM4100. I had been looking for a good set-top-box to build Linux on for a while. It seems a lot of the ones out there just did not have the right hardware specs. Either they did not have enough memory or they had a MIPS processor that just didn’t cut it. Then came along the Thomson Electronics IP1000. It soon was manufactured by RCA and became the RCA RM4100. The RM4100 has an X86 Low Voltage Intel Celeron 733Mhz processor running at 133Mhz front side bus and USB 2.0. With a built in encoder to support advanced compression Codec’s this set-top-box is a perfect choice to build a Linux Media Center. The only problem was the proprietary bios.
Niacin from www.toc2rta.com was able to figure out how to modify the bios to boot Linux. Unfortunately it was not a very user friendly process. It only booted a raw kernel image, could not boot an initrd, and graphics capabilities are very limited.
So I started a little forum called RM4100 Customizing for people with similar interests could work together to make the RM4100 a fully functional set-top-box. A little while later I decided the RM4100 could only become fully operational with a new bios. I started looking into other open source options and came across coreboot (it was called LinuxBIOS then). I have been working with the coreboot developers ever since to produce a new bios for the RM4100. I guess you could say I am now considered coreboot developer, specializing in Intel hardware. Currently the bios for the RM4100 is complete except for the TV-out which is a work in progress.
As interests grew and side projects developed Set-Top-Linux was born. Currently supporting four set-top-boxes, the RCA RM4100, Thomson IP1000, RCA Akimbo IP1150, and the Akimbo AP1200. The goal is to write a coreboot bios for each and every one of the supported set-top-boxes. I know, I have my work ahead of me, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Don't settle for what you have. Hack it!
You can contact Set-Top-Linux by email at firstname.lastname@example.org